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Univision: The untold story of what 'Fast and Furious' wrought in Mexico

Sunday evening, Univision airs an investigative report on how the botched 'Fast and Furious' program resulted in a deadly toll in Mexico when US authorities allowed guns to 'walk' across the border.

By Staff writer / September 29, 2012

Part of a cache of seized weapons displayed at a news conference in Phoenix. The ATF is under fire over a Phoenix-based gun-trafficking investigation called 'Fast and Furious,' in which US agents allowed hundreds of guns into the hands of straw purchasers in hopes of making a bigger case.

Matt York/AP

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ATLANTA

When a journalist for Univision asked President Obama last week why he hasn’t fired Attorney General Eric Holder over the “Fast and Furious” gun walking fiasco, the reporter, it turns out, had an inside scoop that added urgency to the question.

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At 7 p.m. on Sunday, Univision says it’ll air a blockbuster investigation detailing the impact of the deeply flawed gunrunning investigation, which operated between October 2009 and January 2011.

The Spanish-language channel says the “Aqui y Ahora” program will expose the true deadly toll of a covert program in which US officials allowed more than 2,000 high-powered rifles to “walk” into the hands of violent Mexican cartels. Expecting American interest, Univision will caption the program in English.

In the US, “Fast and Furious” is most noted for its ties to the death of border patrol agent Brian Terry and for political fallout over the extent of involvement of the Obama administration, including Attorney General Holder. But in Mexico, the program may reignite furor over how a US government that had promised to try to halt the border gun traffic instead covertly contributed to it.

“Americans have been getting a lot of information about the possible cover-up in the Justice Department, the tragedy of Brian Terry getting killed, but what about the Mexicans?” says Miami-based Gerardo Reyes, Univision’s director of investigative reporting, in an interview Saturday with the Monitor.

“The sinister part of this, and I know it sounds very hard, is that the success of this operation depended in part on the fact that the guns were used in Mexico to kill,” says Mr. Reyes. “In order to reach the target of the operation, which was identifying the drug traffickers who were using the guns, [ATF agents] were waiting for the guns to be used. And how are guns used in Mexico? Killing people. I talked to an ATF agent who said there was no other way to explain it.”

ATF is the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

By cross referencing gun tracing data, Univision identified 57 weapons linked to murders and crimes in Mexico, and used that data to highlight “the face of the tragedy in Mexico,” says Mr. Reyes.

Reyes said the program will detail Fast and Furious ties to the massacre of 16 teenage boys and girls in Ciudad Juarez, the nation-shaking murder of Mario Gonzalez Rodriguez, the brother of the former Chihuahua attorney general, the extent to which the Mexican government knew about the program, and an interview with a drug trafficker who says he heard from colleagues that the US government was selling guns to the cartels.

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